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Patong klong, towards the seaward side: redevelopment now planned

Turmoil as Patong Klong Earmarked for Resort

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
ONE OF Patong's most prominent landmarks, the klong at the southern end of the beach, is likely to change drastically under a land deal that local villagers are fighting to stop.

The villagers around Park Bang klong say they will have nowhere to moor their longtail boats if the klong is narrowed in an upgrade and surrounding land converted into a beachfront resort.

In a rare public declaration, the Mayor of Patong, Pian Keesin, has spoken out about rumors, saying that the law had been followed in the deal that has left ownership of the klong with potential developers Park Height.

The klong is used to moor about 200 longtails that engage in fishing or tourism trips. Large amounts of water pass down the klong, especially after heavy downpours.

Now there's a large sign on the site, visible from the bridge that crosses the klong and heads on to the Amari Coral Beach Resort.

The sign, in Thai, says that the Patong tessaban plans to excavate to improve the klong.

The improvements would allow the water to continue to flow but the new canal would be too narrow for boats.

At one stage, before the economic downturn, a marina was planned there.

Villagers, concerned about the klong plan, have called into question the authenticity of the chanote title that covers about 20 rai surrounding the klong.

Khun Pian said on Monday that villagers had come to him seeking help. The mayor went with the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Tourism of the Senate, Tunyaratt Achariyachai, Vice Governor Smit Parawichai, the Director of Kathu Sub-district, Sriripat Patkul and other officials to visit the site.

Khun Pian said: ''Everything has been done properly in accordance with the law. I do not have the power to stop this course of action being taken by the land's rightful owners.

''The land belongs to the company, and the local government only has authority to use a narrow section for the waterway.''

Khun Pian said the chanote has never been questioned by the Land Office. The title goes back 23 years, local fishermen say.

The land around the klong has been through the hands of several owners, Khun Pian said.

''The company asked the tessaban to approve construction of the klong in preparation for building. All the paperwork was in order.

''We had no choice in the matter, otherwise we could face legal action. I know that people are unhappy and that there is a mangrove forest nearby. But I am a Patong person, too.''

The earlier plan for a marina did not proceed and the then owner sold the land.

Local people had been allowed use of the klong, but the owners now wanted to develop the land.

''I have had no benefits from this project,'' Khun Pian said.

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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Is the resort to be built on the sea side of the bridge? If so, how can that be legal? As far as I know you are not permitted to build anything at any beach in Thailand.

And, by the way, do we really need yet another resort in Patong!!!!

Posted by Curious on July 8, 2009 13:16

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Why don't you just get it over and done with and concrete the whole island? What a mess Phuket is in. Mind you, look at the rest of the country.

Posted by Noddy on July 8, 2009 18:48

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So what will happen to the houses for the community, which were built after the Tsunami with the help of donations from all over the world? iTV was the main sponsor of the reconstruction, what will they say? There were even reports about the village on TV in Germany...

Editor: The tsunami village, we are told, is on a property nearby, not on the contentious land.

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on July 9, 2009 10:32

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Remember the sunday school song of " The wise man built his house upon the rock, the stupid man built his house upon the sand etc etc etc ".

Let this be a warning to the builders.

Posted by Mouse on July 9, 2009 14:47

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Hooray for once, Locals = 1, developers = 0

Posted by Graham on July 11, 2009 07:11


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